Here is a compilation of blog posts, news stories, videos, podcasts, etc. that I’ve encountered over the past few months and found compelling. Note that this does not necessarily that I agree with all or even any of what they say (although I have noted at least some cases where I do), just that thinking is good and these made me do that. Take it or leave it.
“Mara Abbott: My Ride in Rio” (Mara Abbott, WSJ, 19 August 2016): Beautiful grace–and beautiful writing–in the face of heartbreak that only a true athlete and competitor can experience. (For the interview she references, see http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/mara-abbott-her-fourth-place-finish).
“Kristin Armstrong: Gold ‘the result I want to end with'” (Kristin Armstrong, NBC, 10 August 2016): On a happier note from women’s Olympic cycling, Kristin Armstrong is an incredible athlete. Also, for all the haters who argued about her place on the women’s road race team, let up on it.
“One Month Later, Abbey D’Agostino Reflects on Rio, Her Olympic Fall and Her Rehab From a Torn ACL” (Jonathan Gault, Letsrun.com, 16 September 2016): Let there be no doubt, I am still not a fan of letsrun.com as a whole (that’s a topic for another post…), but the followup on one of the biggest character stories of the Olympics is nothing less than I’d expect from all I’ve heard through the running (and Dartmouth, indirectly) grapevines. (For an interview by Julia Hanlon of Running on Om with D’Agostino, see http://runningonom.com/2015/11/18/roo-161-abbey-dagostino-on-integrating-faith-into-life/)
Culture and (Unfortunately or Not) Politics
“Why Abby Wambach Doesn’t Want To Be Known ‘Just As A Soccer Player'” (Terry Gross, NPR/Fresh Air, 14 September 2016): Listen to the podcast if you can, but the transcript isn’t bad either. Honesty and badassery.
“Making Sense of Modern Pornography” (Katrina Forrester, The New Yorker, 26 September 2016): This is a good example of a piece that demonstrates balance in perspective and yet still has an actual argument. Worth one of your free articles in my opinion.
“Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk?” (Tania Lombrozo, NPR, 22 August 2016): Sociology, psychology, R/C parents, and helicopter parents. *cue whirring vocal sound effects and spinny hand gestures above my head*
“When Katie Couric Became a Single Mom” (Hillary Frank, The Longest Shortest Time, 20 July 2016): Yes, I listen to a parenting podcast even though I have no desire to have mini-me’s of my own. Katie Couric is one of the few mainstream celebrities (mainly my “heroes”/”role models”/whatever are athletes and scientists…surprise surprise) about whom I think to myself, I hope I could do half as much as she has/be half of who she is when I grow up.
“Commentary: An Iranian Refugee on Becoming American – Legally, Then in Spirit” (Roya Hakakian, Reuters, 24 August 2016): My favorite lines–“The oath of allegiance, however significant, is often only a ceremonious hour, not one of reckoning. But watershed events and crises offer shortcuts through that journey to belonging. September 11 for instance. By 10 a.m. on that day, my 75-year-old father who until then had been composing poem after poem about his yearning for Tehran had hung an American flag from the railings of the fourth-floor balcony of my parents’ Queens apartment. It remains the only illicit act he has ever committed here, for he knew well the co-op board did not approve of exterior displays.”
“The Coddling of the American Mind” (Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, September 2015): I recently graduated from college. I think that’s probably enough to say before someone on a side (or someones from both/multiple sides) of this argument comes after me with a hatchet.
“The Scarlet A” (Hillary Frank, The Longest Shortest Time, 17 February 2016): Think you’ve heard everything about the abortion debate (regardless of which “side” you’re on)? Think again. This helped me think about lots of things I’d never considered, or if I had, in different ways.
“This Christian Community Opened Its Heart to New Muslim Neighbors” (Upworthy, 9 September 2016): I am skeptical of how Upworthy presents its stories (and don’t get me started on their clickbaity titles…), but that doesn’t make the stories bad.
“An Armistice for the Culture War” (Ezekiel Kweku, MTV, 15 September 2016): I’m not sure if I’ve ever read something from MTV so seriously before.
Explicitly Election (yuck)-Related Politics
“Fear of a Female President” (Peter Beinart, The Atlantic, October 2016): Independent of my views of Clinton herself, this is a thing I have actually been concerned about.
“Hillary Clinton and the Resurrection of Old-School Hysteria” (Nora Kelly, The Atlantic, 26 September 2016): This was fascinating and not a thing I ever would have thought of on my own.
“Why Voting for Hillary is Not Voting for Abortion” (Gungor, Facebook post, 8 October 2016): Thank you for constructing an actual argument, for respectfully and thoughtfully engaging people including those who disagree in ways that are not always respectful or thoughtful (comment section = bravery), and most of all for wrestling with nuance and tension and all the tough parts of being a being endowed with reason.
In a Tense Election Year, Laura Bush Picks an Interesting Ally: Michelle Obama” (Krissah Thompson, The Washington Post, 16 September 2016): Might be a feel-good story (though I suppose this might depend on your opinion of Trump, and possibly to an extent the Bushes and the Obamas…but mainly Drumpf), but hey, I think we need it.